From middle-of-the-night, need-to-go urges to mid-road-trip, can’t-hold-it emergencies, the realities of living with an enlarged prostate
can range from annoying to downright exasperating.
Fortunately, medications and surgeries are available to treat severe cases of enlarged prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). But for those experiencing mild symptoms (or those undergoing medical treatments but still wishing to mitigate lingering effects), lifestyle changes may be recommended.
Four tips you can try right now to help you cope with BPH:
- Cut down on evening liquids.
As any man struggling with BPH knows, it’s bad enough having to race to the bathroom during the daytime hours. But being constantly awoken during the night because of urinary urges is borderline unbearable. Not to mention, failing to get a good night’s sleep due to frequent bathroom trips can eventually start to impact your health and well-being.
To mitigate this problem, try to limit fluid consumption during the evening — particularly in the two hours before you go to sleep. Be especially careful to avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages during this time. Drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine cause the body to create urine, which is the last thing you want when trying to make it through a night without needing to use the bathroom.
- Discuss all medications with your physician.
If you’re taking any medications — whether prescription or over-the-counter — be sure to inform your physician, as medications can sometimes be a contributing factor in a person’s need to urinate.
Keep in mind that changes aren’t always as drastic as switching to a different medication. In some cases, your doctor may simply suggest that you take your medication at a different time, or that you switch to a different amount. Together, you and your doctor can determine what works best for you.
- Don't rush your time in the bathroom.
When you’re dealing with a busy schedule and the day is already being constantly interrupted by your need to urinate, it can be tempting to spend as little time in the restroom as possible. But rushing through the urination process likely won’t do you any favors. Instead, take your time and consider trying the “double voiding” technique.
What is double voiding? Double voiding simply means you urinate, wait a few moments, and then attempt to urinate again. This technique can help you more fully empty your bladder — decreasing the need for follow-up bathroom trips.
- Steer clear of stress.
What does stress have to do with BPH symptoms? Surprisingly, quite a lot. Feelings of stress, nervousness, tension and anxiety can all contribute to your need to urinate.
The remedy for this particular urinary instigator is simply to minimize the stress in your life. Practicing meditation or yoga — or even taking more breaks or vacations — may be helpful. Breathing exercises and regular physical activity can also be effective in reducing your overall stress levels.
Pro Tip: Get a Pro’s Advice
The most important tip in coping with BPH, of course, is to seek medical treatment when needed. If the tips above aren’t effectively reducing your BPH symptoms, get professional help
. Your doctor may be able to recommend surgical procedures that can alleviate your symptoms. So don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment, because the end result could mean returning to a life free of BPH annoyances.